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Archives: March 2012

New Video: Virtual PBX and VoIP
March 9th, 2012

Today we would like to share with you a video that discusses the main differences between a Virtual PBX VoIP phone system and a traditional analog phone system. Check out the video here to see why a business VoIP plan with Virtual PBX might be the solution you have been looking for.

Virtual PBX, inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, started the first virtual phone system over 15 years ago.  Our service can work with any kind of telephone – analog, digital, cellular and even satellite phones, and can rack up big savings vs. traditional phone services.  But using Virtual PBX with our VoIP service can save even more.  This video shows you how.

Since its release, Virtual PBX Complete has generated tremendous demand. But that is not surprising considering this new addition gives customers expanded business communication capabilities at a fraction of the cost. In fact, with Virtual PBX Complete, you could significantly reduce your overhead, saving 40-80% on monthly phone bills!

 

Virtual PBX Receives 2011 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award
January 18th, 2012

VirtualPBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere Recognized for Innovation

Since its release in February 2011, VirtualPBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere has been turning heads. People from a diverse range of businesses have praised and acknowledged VirtualPBX Complete as a cutting-edge service that delivers powerful features while reducing operational costs. This product has really hit home with small and medium businesses everywhere.

So far, VirtualPBX Complete has received two Product of the Year awards, two Excellence awards, a Best Products award, a Leadership award and an Innovation award. To add to the list is VirtualPBX’s latest 2011 Product of the Year award from TMC, a global integrated media company.

“I am happy to grant VirtualPBX with a Product of the Year Award. The editors of INTERNET TELEPHONY have verified that Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere displays quality and innovation plus provides real needs in the marketplace,” stated Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “I would like to congratulate the entire team at VirtualPBX for their commitment to advancing IP communication technologies.”

CEO of VirtualPBX, Paul Hammond, explains, “Our mission is to deliver communications tools that help businesses improve customer service and business productivity,” He continues, “This recognition from INTERNET TELEPHONY affirms the value of Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere, which is making a huge difference for our business customers, who are also able to reduce their operational costs.”

For more information on VirtualPBX and this award, please click here.

Recommended Routers: Airport Extreme and Netgear
December 28th, 2011

At VirtualPBX, we do everything we can to ensure each customer’s system always runs as quickly and effectively as possible. From using fully redundant systems with backups to guaranteeing 99.999% uptime, we take every precaution to give you the most reliable virtual phone service in the market. However, there are also steps our customers may take to ensure their VirtualPBX is running as smoothly as possible at all times. Below, we discuss one such method to improve your VirtualPBX experience.

To ensure your network can support VoIP traffic and keep your network within recommended parameters for jitter, latency, and packet loss.  With that in mind it is important to have a good router. Reports from our customer base have revealed some routers work better than others with SIP traffic and VoIP calls with our VirtualPBX service.

Routers are specialized computers connected to two or more different networks that perform “traffic directing” functions. They run software that allows the device to move data between different networks, determining the most optimal path. Routers move information in “packages” called Packets and can be wireless, wired or a combination of both.  Another primary function of a router is to share one Internet connection with many devices on the network.

The Apple Airport Extreme is reportedly best for people who want complete ease of use and 100% compatibility out of the box; the Apple Airport Extreme offers super fast wireless network access throughout just about any home, office, or classroom. This router includes:

·           Both wired and wireless connectivity

·           Single Ethernet WAN port for connecting to a DSL or cable modem

·           3 Ethernet LAN ports for connecting network devices

More features and specs can be found on Apple’s website.

Please note the Apple Airport Extreme does not support Quality of Service (QoS). QoS is a feature that enables routers to prioritize traffic, allowing the most important traffic to pass first. This results in improved performance for critical network traffic like your VoIP phone call. QoS equipment is useful with VoIP phones on LANs with high volumes of traffic.

For customers that need the utility of QoS, Virtual PBX’s customers found significant value in the Netgear WNDR4500 router. This router is perfect if you need advanced functionality like QOS and stateful pack inspection. This router features:

·           Both wired and wireless connectivity

·           Single Ethernet WAN port for connecting to a DSL or cable modem

·           4 Ethernet LAN ports for connecting network devices

·           Supports QOS and stateful pack inspection.

A product overview and technical specs can be found at Netgear.

We recommend checking all network equipment on site before deploying our service in your office. A good first check of your network can be done using our VoIP Speed Test. If your router is not one of these we discussed here, you may contact our VirtualPBX Support department via email at support@virtualpbx.com or via phone at 888.825.0800 option 2 to with any questions you may have.

As a part of our award-winning open systems initiative, our phones will work with a wide variety of other routers. For more information, please visit our Recommended Routers page at http://www.virtualpbx.com/services/recommended-routers//.

Analog Telephone Adapter
November 17th, 2011

Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA’s) turn a standard analog phone device, such as a standard touch-tone phone or a fax machine, into a Voice over IP (VoIP) device.  An analog-to-digital converter, it takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data which is transmitted over the internet. Conversely, the digital signals received from your internet translate into analog signals you will hear through a telephone headset. This allows you to make calls over the internet without an IP Phone.

The obvious advantage of using an ATA is that you can use the phone you have on hand, either wired or cordless, with any VoIP service. So, if you want to take advantage of VoIP and not lose your favorite phone, an ATA is a great way to go. The same is true for businesses using analog lines.

An ATA needs to have an underlying VoIP service, such as VoIP service from VirtualPBX to work.  Typically, you will get credentials from your VoIP provider that will include a username/URI and a password.  You then need to configure the ATA to use these credentials.  Once you have this done, assuming you’ve attached a phone and the ATA is connected to the internet, calls can be made over the internet to and from the analog phone.

It may be slightly cheaper to use an existing phone with an ATA than it is to buy a new VoIP phone.  However, you won’t have all of the same features that you would usually receive with a VoIP phone.  For example, system directories, call logs, and other features of a VoIP phone won’t be available in the same way on an analog phone.  So if you want the extra features and capabilities, your best bet is an IP Phone. However, if you would rather not invest in a VoIP phone at the moment, an ATA is the way to go for affordable VoIP service. You may lose some features but in some cases you will save money.  You can visit our VoIP Phone List page to compare prices and capabilities of our VoIP and ATA devices.

Some of our clients use ATAs to connect hardware fax machines to their virtual PBX service.  While most clients simply use our virtual fax functions for both inbound and outbound faxing, some people want to employ a standard hardware fax machine.  It gives them a paper printout of their fax and may fit better into existing processes.  Typically, this is done by setting up a VoIP-enabled extension for faxing and then using an ATA to connect the fax machine. Adding a fax phone number that rings directly to the fax extension allows the fax machine to work just like it would on a separate analog phone line, at a fraction of the cost.

VirtualPBX sells and supports the Cisco/Linksys SPA2102 ATA.  Other ATAs may work with our service, but we’ve found that some don’t handle faxing well.  For more information, give us a call at 888-825-0800.  We’re here to help!

You Can Rely on VoIP
November 2nd, 2011

As VoIP is such a new technology, you may wonder how reliable it is. Communication is key to any business, so it must be reliable.  Most companies rely on multiple forms of communication, including telephones, email, web services, and more.  Of all these communication types, phone calls demand the highest level of instant interaction, and any delay or trouble with a phone call is noticed more quickly.  So call quality and reliability of your phone service are critical.  A major interruption in service can greatly impact a company’s performance and have far-reaching consequences and even poor call quality reflects negatively on your business. Inconsistent or unreliable phone service is simply unacceptable. So, if you are considering switching from a traditional phone service to a VoIP phone service, you may wonder if VoIP is something you can rely on.

Simply put, today, VoIP can be extremely reliable. VoIP has been around long enough for all the big issues to be worked out. With a good VoIP provider and solid internet service, problems such as latency, jitter, static, and dropped calls have been eliminated. Interestingly, the reasons some people worry about using VoIP – sound quality, dropped calls, intermittent loss of service – are the same concerns that afflicted the original PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone system. PSTN quality has continued to improve over its many years of use, and old-style analog phone systems using copper wires for connection have become the standard for call quality.  VoIP is still undergoing important changes, but by selecting the right VoIP provider, you can already get quality and reliability that rivals analog connectivity.   VoIP communication services are progressing and evolving faster than ever and the issues associated with VoIP are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

In fact, now VoIP telephone service can be even more reliable than traditional telephone service and provide better features at a lower price. VoIP telephones will often work in situations when traditional telephone services won’t.  Suppose, for example, that you need to work from both home and office.  With VoIP, you can have service anywhere you have an internet connection. So even if you loose internet connection in your home or office, you can make and receive phone calls from any internet connection anywhere, whether you take calls on your desktop VoIP phone or a softphone on your computer or smart phone.  And the internet itself  is very reliable. It has built in redundancy, routing packets around any failing links.  The biggest reliability issue will be with your own Internet Service Provider (ISP), so you’ll want to select a provider that has a solid reputation for reliability.  To check your current service, you can run our VoIP Test and see the bandwidth, jitter, latency, and packet loss associated with your current connection..

In addition, the sound quality of a VoIP call can be as good if not better than a call made through traditional landline services.  This is because with VoIP, your voice breaks down to a digital form, which can be exactly reproduced at the other end of the call, unlike with landlines which can inject noise or lose strength over distance.

The real question in VoIP reliability may be in your choice of VoIP provider.  You’ll want to choose a company with a strong reputation for reliability, and know what they do to make sure your phone system stays up and running, all the time. VirtualPBX has taken all the precautions to ensure you will have the most reliable VoIP service available.  Our service runs in a secure, hardened data facility that is part of our national infrastructure.  It has many sources of power, carriers, and lines, including primaries and multiple backups in each area.  In addition, we’ve built the whole system with reliability in mind.  Every component has multiple backups and redundancy.  So if a component fails, your calls are not affected.  In most cases, over half of our equipment could fail and you’d still get your calls.  This is one of the reasons Virtual PBX is so well known for its reliability and quality.  For more information, check out the Quality and Reliability page of our website at http://www.virtualpbx.com/learn-more/quality-reliability/.

VirtualPBX Introduces VirtualPBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere for iPhones, Android Phones and Computers
September 21st, 2011

VoIP Anywhere streamlines VoIP bandwidth requirements to allow VoIP calls over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connections

In modern day business, the ability for workers to stay connected wherever they are is invaluable. Traveling to international destinations, working in between their homes and their offices, people are constantly on the move and having a phone service that can keep up with them is crucial.

Although cell phones are great for taking important calls when away from the office, the costs of calling are high, especially when it comes to roaming charges. Furthermore, dialing out from a mobile phone shows the user’s personal caller ID, not the company’s phone number.

VirtualPBX now offers a cost effective way to stay in contact with anyone, anywhere with its newest enhancement to VirtualPBX Complete – VoIP Anywhere. Customers can now use their smartphones and computers as VoIP handsets with complete business phone system capabilities. This is drastically cheaper than cellular roaming, long distance charges, and hotel room rates. VoIP Anywhere is very inexpensive, flexible, and functional, offering advanced functionality at a fraction of the price. With VoIP Anywhere, your smartphone becomes your office extension, receiving calls just like you were at a hardware VoIP phone, as well as displaying your company’s caller ID information when you make outbound calls. In addition, VirtualPBX announced support for HD Voice for HD-capable devices.

“Our launch of VirtualPBX Complete has generated tremendous demand from our customers. As they embrace our system, they are increasingly seeking the freedom to access their VoIP business features on any device, wherever they are,” said Greg Brashier, COO of VirtualPBX. “By introducing VirtualPBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere, we are delivering that freedom and flexibility to carry their business extension anywhere in the world.”

Because of VirtualPBX’s commitment to open systems, users can avoid the high costs of proprietary software and choose the option that best fits their needs. With VoIP Anywhere, turning your computer or smartphone into a VoIP Extension is easy. Just register any softphone, such as those available for Android phones, iPhones and computers, as a VoIP device in the VirtualPBX service to access VoIP Anywhere capabilities. Once registered, simply open the softphone application to make calls and access all of VirtualPBX’s system features, such as business caller ID for outbound calls, call recording, call transfers, presence management and reporting. By reducing bandwidth requirements for VoIP calls, VirtualPBX allows high-quality calls to be placed over 3G, 4G and WiFi connections.

New System Features

  • Calls from ANY device: With VirtualPBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere, turning your smartphone or computer into a full-featured VoIP phone is simple. Using any standard softphone and a minimum of a 3G connection, any device can be accessed through your existing Virtual PBX number.
  • U.S dial tone: VoIP Anywhere provides a U.S. dial tone while avoiding high international dialing rates. Dialing a U.S. number from an international location can even be free with VirtualPBX’s flat-rate packages.
  • HD voice: The new VoIP Anywhere system negotiates HD voice on any HD device. If the device you are using supports HD, then the call can automatically be connected with HD quality.
  • Business caller ID: Calls made from a VirtualPBX extension can send the company’s phone number for caller ID. With VoIP Anywhere, mobile users no longer need to worry about giving out their personal cellular numbers while making business calls, and contacts know how to get back in touch with the company, not just the individual.

Learn more about VoIP Anywhere capabilities here.

Virtual Pbx® Awarded Internet Telephony’s 2011 Tmc Labs Innovation Award
August 5th, 2011

Virtual PBX Complete Honored for Exceptional Innovation

Virtual PBX has always watched out for every one of their customers, from the smaller businesses to the larger corporations, making sure to deliver products and services everyone finds useful for their business.

Virtual PBX’s latest solution is no exception, supporting a complete blending of analog and IP telephony, while also incorporating open SIP peering.   In doing so, Virtual PBX Complete ultimately meets the needs of all Virtual PBX customers from traditional landline clients to VoIP telephony customers.  Setting new standards for flexibility, features, price, and ease of installation, Virtual PBX Complete forged ahead, establishing new technology and employing out-of-the-box thinking.

This is what innovation is all about.  And this is why Virtual PBX Complete was named the 2011 TMC Labs Innovation Award winner.  The award, presented by TMC’s publication, INTERNET TELEPHONY, honors products that display innovation, unique features, and significant contributions toward improving communications technology. The TMC Labs Innovation Awards are granted to those companies demonstrating groundbreaking contributions to the industry.

“The Innovation Award exemplifies the best and the most unique products and services that this industry has to offer. Virtual PBX has proven its commitment to quality and the further development of the IP communications industry through its Virtual PBX Complete solution,” stated Tom Keating, CTO and TMC Labs Founder.

“Congratulations to the entire team at Virtual PBX for earning this great honor. I look forward to seeing more innovative solutions from them as the company continues to contribute to the future of IP communications,” Keating added.

In order to be seen as valuable innovations, new products and services must be strong enough to progress into the marketplace.  In addition, fast changing technologies and lifestyles cause people to have greater expectations. Customers are used to products that constantly improve and make their life easier.

“This recognition demonstrates the significant impact Virtual PBX Complete innovation has had on our market,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “This award, coupled with the enthusiastic responses from our customers, is a testament to Virtual PBX’s hard work and commitment to provide services that meet the wide range of customer needs.”

“Virtual PBX has demonstrated to the staff of TMC Labs that Virtual PBX Complete is truly innovative in the IP Communications industry. Virtual PBX Complete has made contributions which have resulted in significant advancement to the industry,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “We’re proud to reward Virtual PBX’s hard work with a TMC Labs Innovation Award this year.”

The 2011 TMC Labs Innovation Award highlights will be published in the July and August 2011 issues of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

VirtualPBX® Affiliate Program
July 26th, 2011

VoIP is the latest and fastest growing telephony technology anywhere.  With its quickly advancing technology and affordable prices VoIP is becoming more and more the standard for businesses across the world. The market for VoIP solutions is huge and there is a broad customer base. This is why now is the perfect time to take advantage of the VoIP industry.  How, you ask?  Here’s how VirtualPBX can help.

Partnering with VirtualPBX offers the perfect chance to expand your sales opportunities into a highly profitable new area of business.  By becoming a VirtualPBX Affiliate, you can offer your customers a service that improves a crucial function in their business – their telephone service. As a result, you can strengthen your relationship with your customer as a valued business partner and trusted advisor.

VirtualPBX has teamed up with Share-A-Sale to offer a simple affiliate signup process so that you can begin earning commission payments from your website as soon as possible.  As an affiliate, you would receive automatic payments via Share-A-Sale for every customer you provide that signs up with VirtualPBX.  Simply add one of our Virtual PBX banners or text links to your website.  We will even design a custom banner for you upon request.

If you want to make money in the VoIP industry or the telecommunication industry in general, there is no better program than the Virtual PBX affiliate program.  Here’s why:

·     Partnering with VirtualPBX is 100% free. There are no fees or deposits.

·     Short sales cycles – customers typically recognize benefits from the service within 24 hours of purchase

·     Extremely easy implementation – Simply join our Affiliate program through ShareASale easy signup process, place a banner or text link on your website and start earning commissions right away.

·     Lots of tools and support – VirtualPBX provides you with all the tools, support, target markets, content, strategies and much more information to help you maximize your earning potential.

·     Competitive Payouts – We offer some of the highest payouts in the in market.

In addition, when you’re ready to start promoting VirtualPBX we provide all the linking and keyword strategies to incorporate, as well as channel information to help you target the right markets.  If you like to blog, there is content available for that as well.  However you choose to market VirtualPBX, we’re anxious to help.

Be in business for yourself with the support of VirtualPBX at your side.  Be a part of the worlds fastest growing markets with one of the highest quality VoIP providers in the business. VirtualPBX invented this class of service and with over 15 years experience and the most robust technology in the market, nobody provides better features, reliability, or service than Virtual PBX.

To learn more about the VirtualPBX Affiliate program, please visit our partners page.  If you are interested in other ways to partner with VirtualPBX please check out our next blog.

sauna works transitions to voip with virtual pbx
July 15th, 2011

Company Heats Up and Increases Outbound Calls with Virtual PBX Complete

Great customer service is the lifeline of every business. It is an essential part of maintaining your existing customers as well as winning new ones. The foundation of great customer service is forming a relationship with customers.  But how do you go about forming such a relationship?  One of the best ways is to make sure you are always available and in touch with your customers.

Customer satisfaction is the No. 1 priority for the employees of Sauna Works, a company specializing in infrared saunas. Sauna Works has been in the business of manufacturing and selling infrared saunas for over 14 years and have learned quite a bit about customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction.   Their motivation and dedication to provide excellent customer service drove the company’s move to VirtualPBX five years ago to allow employees to stay in constant touch with customers through landline, mobile, and VoIP phones.

In 2006, the company was managing a showroom in San Francisco and many of their employees were working remotely.  Vice President Andy Kaps knew using a feature-rich PBX solution was the only way to monitor and keep on top of sales and service calls.  When providing great customer service, it is so important to be able to communicate with customers from any location.  You need to be reachable no matter where you are.

Kaps explains, “As a former executive at a company within in the telecommunications field, I knew we needed a solution that would provide us with ACD queuing features which allowed us to stay connected with users no matter where we are. I was initially attracted to Virtual PBX because of its deep feature set and the web-based flexibility the company provides.”

In addition to keeping people connected around the world, Virtual PBX’s TrueACD™ Queues allows callers to contact anyone in the company without having to know their direct extension.  Furthermore, managers need not waste time entering or changing phone numbers as employee shifts change since TrueACD queues include presence management and employees log themselves in and out as needed.  Best of all, customer service is improved by reducing customer wait times and increasing customer satisfaction.

Sauna Works was able to increase customer satisfaction even further by switching to VoIP.  70 percent of Sauna Works’ employees using Virtual PBX made the transition to VoIP after the release of Virtual PBX’s new VoIP system, Virtual PBX Complete.  Since the transition, employees have not only significantly reduced overall phone costs, but also doubled the number of outbound calls made to clients.

Blending traditional analog telephony with VoIP technology, Virtual PBX’s Virtual PBX Complete solution allows clients to mix and match as needed as well as work from any location. Virtual PBX Complete also embraces open standards, which spares customers from being locked into proprietary technologies.

“A majority of our customers are looking for a flexible solution,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “With our commitment to both VoIP and analog technologies, we give customers like Sauna Works the ability to have low upfront costs, eliminate expensive analog phones lines when VoIP is appropriate, and improve service to their clients.”

Is Your Business Changing? Virtual PBX Can Change With You
June 28th, 2011

Virtual PBX’s hosted phone service is flexible and quickly adapts to the changing needs of your growing business.  Easily scalable and constantly updated with new features, Virtual PBX will keep up with your business no matter how fast you change.

With traditional PBX’s, everything must be installed and maintained by on-site IT staff and for a growing business this can get very expensive, both in terms of dollars and time.

With Virtual PBX you can easily add or remove extensions and ACD Queues, switch plans, add Voip phones and make many other changes whenever you need to – and for a fraction of the price!  Everything is in your control.

Virtual PBX also makes it easy for customers to configure the system to meet their changing needs with a simple user interface.  Add a new phone number for that new ad you’re placing in the new magazine, update your main greeting with your new business hours, or route calls to a new employee, all with the click of a button.

Monitor and train new employees with Virtual PBX’s real-time web monitors and call recording.  Keep an eye on when they are logged in and out of ACD queues, when they are receiving calls, as well as when they are marked unavailable.  Also, ensure they are giving the best phone customer service by using free call recording.  You can also use the call recording feature to train new employees.

Use free conference minutes to communicate with employees and customers virtually anywhere in the world.  For ultimate flexibility, each extension owner can have a conference call going on at the same time.

With Virtual PBX you will always have multiple ways to connect with employees, customers, and vendors whenever and wherever your business takes you.